Journal article Open Access

Monitoring protein synthesis by fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) in vivo

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Currently available methodologies for measuring protein synthesis rates rely on metabolic labelling by incorporation of radioactive amino acids into nascent polypeptides. These approaches are hampered by several limitations and cannot be applied to monitor protein synthesis in specific cells or tissues, in live specimens. Here, we describe a novel method for monitoring protein synthesis in specific cells and tissues of live Caenorhabditis elegans animals. Fluorescent reporter proteins such as GFP are expressed in specific cells and tissues of interest or throughout animals using appropriate promoters. Protein synthesis rates are assessed by following fluorescence recovery after partial photobleaching of the fluorophore at targeted sites. We evaluate the method by examining protein synthesis rates in diverse cell types of the nematode. Because it is non-invasive, our approach allows monitoring of protein synthesis in single cells or tissues with intrinsically different protein synthesis rates.

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